Greenhouse gasses generated from mobility and travel are now UB’s single largest source of carbon emissions.
Across campus, there are three key climate action working groups creating comprehensive solutions to reduce UB’s mobility footprint down to zero. UB’s 10 in 10 climate action strategy asks individuals and the institution to examine the need to travel off campus and rethink the way the university community moves about (above and beyond our commuting choices).
As this work continues and university carbon pricing mechanisms are evaluated, the UB community is asked to reduce their carbon footprints while engaged in university actions by evaluating their direct university-related travel with two questions:
There are important reasons for our community to travel that help advance UB’s mission. In-person meetings and gatherings provide value that is often absent from virtual meetings. Social interaction, unintentional academic collisions that lead to innovation and creativity, the ability to stay focused in longer interactions and the importance of building relationships and networking are just a few critical factors that help justify mobility.
Still, there is also a cost to this travel that affects time, money, and the environment.
When making travel decisions, money, time, and specifically the climate-related costs need to be fully evaluated in a triple bottom line analysis (examining the social, environmental, and financial impacts). The COVID pandemic has demonstrated that much of our traditional mobility may not be as necessary or vital as we once thought. The last two years have provided us with new data and experiences to weigh when working to answer if travel is necessary.
The social, environmental, and financial impacts of travel often work against one another. Examine the balance between carbon emissions, your time, and the price of travel. Understand and evaluate the impacts on the planet and taxpayers to make an informed decision.
Travel method largely affects carbon footprint. Active mobility (walking and biking) has the lowest footprint, followed by rail travel, electric vehicles use (especially if powered by renewable energy or a clean grid like NYS), gas-fueled automobile, and air travel.
The following guidance and awareness should be factored into department decisions, purchases, and scheduling:
Thank you for your help in advancing UB’s mission to achieve climate neutrality. For more information on UB's climate action strategy, visit buffalo.edu/climate-action
Know What Is Reimbursable
Some travel expenses are not reimburseable. See examples of non-reimburseable expenses.
Secure Your Devics for Travel
Follow these guidelines to keep information on your devices safe
• Passport ID page
• Foreign visa
• Hotel confirmation
• Airline ticket
• Driver's license
When the employee is:
• Engaged in official university business
• At a distance of more than 35 miles from the designated official station and place of residence